My first ‘real’ post is about two things I know and love: Coffee and Cardiff. I have lived here for three years and spent the majority of that time in the following places, so, sticking to what I know for now, here are my top 5 coffee stops in the centre of Cardiff.
I may be slightly biased about Coffee Barker (because I work here…) but I Love. It. So. Much. Firstly, there’s the unbelievably comfortable seating: they are all soft leather armchairs and sofas, so good luck getting out once you’re in. If you’re not convinced by Barker’s undeniably cool style, the menu ought to convert you: the food is all homemade and served in big portions, we’ve got a massive selection of drinks and we like to get creative (coconut latte, anyone?) Plus, look out for a great music playlist and amazing latte art.
When I’m not in Coffee Barker, you can almost always find me in Coffee #1. It’s actually a chain, but not one of the massive ones like Starbucks or Costa, so it still has some nice personal touches. The 4 stores in the centre of Cardiff all have cute painted decor, some comfy sofas and my most familiar store (Albany Road) has a wall of local advertisements and even framed photos of regular customers. Also, try their amazing cakes, some quite unusual ones like Portuguese tarts and the BIGGEST teacakes you have ever seen.
In case it isn’t obvious by now, my taste in coffee shops is just a little bit hipster…but anyway, next on the list is Uncommon Ground. The coffee here just tastes really, really good. The location is perfect, in Royal Arcade, surrounded by some of my favourite shops in the city but still nice and quiet. The big windows are perfect for people watching.
Garlands is another hidden gem, a tiny place in Duke Street Arcade, even more hidden away than Coffee Barker and Uncommon Ground, but equally worthy of a mention. It has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options (the veggie/vegan breakfast comes with LOADS of mushrooms so it’s definitely a winner) and a great selection of homemade cakes. Garlands has outdoor seating for the rare sunny days and even provides dog biscuits so no one gets left out.
The Little Man Coffee Co.
Little Man is in a somewhat unexpected part of town; you don’t pass by on your average walk through the centre, so it’s always lovely and quiet (underrated!) There are a lot of reasons to love this little place. For a start, they really know their coffee and offer a lot more than just espresso based drinks, including fancy things like chemex and aeropress coffee and an impressive array of teas. The shop itself is full of natural light, which makes a nice change from the “cosy” atmosphere of the others on this list. Lastly, the really great thing about Little Man is the events it hosts, such as art, craft and literature evenings. Check out their facebook for more info. https://www.facebook.com/littlemancoffee/
Also worth a visit… The Plan (Morgan Arcade), Milgi (City Road) and Barker Tea House (High Street Arcade.)
So, there we have it, a selection of the best places to chill out with a coffee and a book, catch up with friends or treat yourself to lunch. Thanks for reading, feel free to comment and let me know your favourite coffee shop, in Wales or elsewhere in the world!